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Shell employee numbers cut by 5,000, or around 10% of workforce in restructured divisions

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Shell 3Q Adjusted Pft -67.6% To $2.62B On Weaker Oil, Gas

OCTOBER 29, 2009

By James Herron

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) Thursday posted a 67.6% fall in adjusted third-quarter profit due to much lower average oil prices and weak natural gas and refined product markets.

Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser said there are indications that oil and gas markets are improving, although the recovery remains uncertain.

“We continue to focus on improving our competitive cost position, simplifying Shell,” which has reduced operating costs by $1 billion in the first nine months of the year and will cut employee numbers by 5,000, or around 10% of the workforce in the restructured divisions, Voser said.

The Anglo-Dutch energy company said the clean current cost of supplies, a keenly-watched profit figure because it strips out gains or losses from inventories and other non-operating items, was $2.62 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $8.09 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

This was above analysts’ expectations for $2.56 billion in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of six analysts.

Total oil and gas production was 2.93 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, a decline of 0.2% on the year. Analysts were expecting a production decline of 2.3%.

Net profit for the quarter totaled $3.25 billion, down 61.6% from $8.45 billion in the same period a year ago.

Group revenue was $75.01 billion, compared with $131.57 billion in the third quarter of 2008.

Diluted earnings per share were 53 cents compared with 137 cents in the same period of the previous year.

Shell B shares closed at 1,869 pence Wednesday, up 23.8% in the last six months as the oil price has rebounded.

Company Web site: www.shell.com

-By James Herron, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9317; [email protected]

SOURCE WSJ ARTICLE

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